I did it again. I said yes. I said yes to something that added one more thing to my plate. I said yes to one more thing that I silently fear I will not be able to fulfill to my full ability. I said yes, when I really should have said NOOOO!!! Well, maybe not screamed it, but perhaps declined in a nicer way and said “no, sorry, I am unable to fit that into my schedule at this time, but thank your for asking me.” I call this kind of yes, a yes that really didn’t feel good when I said it, an accidental yes.
Why do we feel we must SAY yes when we really FEEL no. We put everyone else and their needs and wants before ours. We feel that their need is more important, their idea is more valid, their event is more pressing that ours. We serve our partners, we tend our kids, we bleed for our jobs, we drain ourselves completely saying yes to everyone else, and when it’s time to say yes to ourselves, there is no time or energy for US.
As an example, I was running 3 tanning salons, not just managing but actually hands on in all 3, from janitor to accountant. I was also starting another business, and managing nine 16 year old girls (a job all in itself). I was also trying to maintain a marriage in all of that, and feeling overwhelmed, when my friend came to me and asked me to throw her a baby shower. I was not her closest friend, I wasn’t going to be the godparent of this child, we were acquaintances at best. She said, I would ask my best friend, but she isn’t as good at parties as you are and I don’t want my shower to suck. So even though I had already felt there was too much on my plate, I said yes, reluctantly. Shortly after, I realized that it was overtaking my time. But, being who I am, I cannot throw a half-way baby shower. It had to have all the perfect elements. My business was backing up, I was fighting with my husband, it was not how I would choose to be planning a special occasion. Then a mentor asked me, “why didn’t you just say no?” I couldn’t give a good answer. Because, if I said no, she would be mad at me, she might not like me, she might have a terrible shower, no one could plan like me.. blah, blah, blah. It was all my story. I could have just said, “I’m so sorry, I would love to, I just have too much on my plate right now, but I will be there and bring a great gift.” I could have even offered her best friend some direction. There are many things I could have done to ease my life up, but instead, I chose to make my life more chaotic. (By the way, it was a great baby shower).
Now, I see in my life, where I can say yes for the right reasons and say no for the right reasons. I can say no and feel okay knowing that I am taking care of myself, and that being selfish is healthy, it’s just self care.
My coach asked me to make a personal care calendar, where I schedule in things for myself, just to fill myself up. Things like massages, yoga classes, girl time, retreats, etc. Things that fill up my cup, so I am able to fill others from a full glass instead of an empty space. Places where I can say yes to myself. And feel good about the no’s. To know that I am not a monster because I am not able to fulfill everyone’s wishes.
I am also learning that if I commit to something, that I have given and accidental yes, and it has overtaken my space, makes me feel uneasy, or taxes my world too much, that it is OK to re-evaluate my yes. Working on my self care boundaries every day.
So just a word of advice, if you are being asked for something and it just doesn’t fit, or feel right in your gut, perhaps it’s time for a no, instead of another accidental yes.